Don Cherry thinks NHL may be playing into NHLPA's hands
Coach's Corner commentator suggests Fehr, union may benefit from Bettman reaching out
Gary Bettman and the National Hockey League may have put themselves in a sticky situation.
At least that’s what Don Cherry thinks.
The never bashful Coach’s Corner commentator weighed in on the current NHL labour situation on his verified Twitter account (@CoachsCornerCBC) on Saturday night, and says that by submitting the latest offer in collective bargaining, the league may be playing right into NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr’s hands.
"A few days ago I was talking to a buddy who wants to know what's gonna happen with the lockout," Cherry tweeted. "I tell him we're gonna see who really wants To end this and start the season.
"How come he asks? I said whoever puts in an offer will put himself in a sticky situation because the press, And fans will think he has caved in. Sure enough Bettman comes in with a new offer and yes it looks like he has weakened..."
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed on Saturday the league had submitted a comprehensive CBA proposal to the players in hopes of coming to a resolution in the now months-long lockout.
Cherry added he doesn’t believe Bettman was pressured by the owners to reach out to the players’ association as some reports had suggested, but that the commissioner truly wants the players to get back on the ice.
He also said this might be exactly what Fehr was hoping for.
"…So Bettman has put himself in a situation just made for Fehr," Cherry tweeted. "He knew when He put in the offer this would happen. But I believe he did it to save the season. Fehr naturally will say this isn't good enough and Squeeze for more.
"But like I said 2 months ago after the association squeezes the last drop it will be settled. The only dark cloud I see Is if the association pushes too hard we could go off a cliff."
The two sides held a series of informational conference calls on Saturday, according to multiple reports, and are expected to have more of the same type of sessions on Sunday, Daly confirmed.
So far, 625 games have been cancelled due to the lockout.